Martin Scorsese Revealed He Didn’t Originally Want To Make Goodfellas And More Of His Most Famous Movies, And I’m So Glad He Changed His Mind

Martin Scorsese’s decades-spanning career is legendary, from movies like Raging Bull and Taxi Driver from the ’70s, to modern classics of the 2000s like The Wolf of Wall Street and The Departed. The director has made some of the best movies of all time, however apparently there is a world where some of our favorites could’ve had a different director. Scorsese recently opened up about making some of his most famous flicks, and why he didn’t initially want to make some of his his best movies, like Goodfellas

Ahead of the release of his latest epic, Killers of the Flower Moon, Scorsese chatted with GQ about his directing career and some of the movies that cemented him in history as one of our greatest filmmakers. When the conversation turned to Goodfellas, Scorsese admitted that he had apprehensions about taking on the project. He said:

Goodfellas was made 18 years after Mean Streets, so I didn’t really want to do another genre movie, gangster genre, right?

This seems so strange now, especially considering Scorsese’s name almost seems synonymous with the gangster genre, and the filmmaking style he brings to the characters. Since Goodfellas he has dipped into the genre a number of times, for movies like The Departed, Gangs of New York, and The Irishman, and all of which brought something different to the subject matter. It’s almost impossible to imagine a time where the director may want to distance himself. Thankfully he ended up helming the ’90s classic, and it took another filmmaker Scorsese respected to convince him to join the project. He said:

After doing the film The Last Temptation of Christ, when I got back, I owed Warner Bros. Goodfellas, or what became Goodfellas, it was called Wise Guys at the time. I didn’t really almost didn’t want to make it. It was Michael Powell, the director of The Red Shoes, co-director I should say, and other masterpieces, that read the script and insisted I make it.

This sounds like a “one for you, one for me” situation with Warner Bros. which definitely paid off. I can’t think of another director that could’ve brought the same humor or intensity to the crime world depicted in the scene. Scorsese put together one of the most memorable movie ensembles with the film, including a star-making performance from Ray Liotta and career-defining roles for Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. While the apprehension is understandable, I’m so glad Scorsese changed his mind and audiences got his version, and likely the best possible version, of Goodfellas

This wasn’t the only time Scorsese had doubts about attaching himself to a movie. He initially didn’t want to be involved in The Wolf of Wall Street. Once again, he felt stylistically the movie was too similar to movies he had already done before. He compared his misgivings to how he also felt about making his gritty boxing movie, Raging Bull. The director explained: 

Again like Raging Bull, I didn’t want to make it, but I had to find my own way in it. And a lot of it had to do with style. The style I felt was originally more like Goodfellas, I had done it. And I did it again in Casino. What more could I bring to it?

He went on to explain that through Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort character, that he was able to find something unique that he could infuse into the script. The comparisons to Goodfellas are understandable, considering they both feature the rise and fall of men as they gain more power and money. They also both feature quippy narration from their central characters. 

However, The Wolf of Wall Street allowed Scorsese to truly experiment with scale and  the unexplored world of Wall Street in the ’80s and ’90s. It feels more contemporary than some of Scorsese’s other films, and he brightens up the source material with big set pieces and incredible performances by DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. Once again, I think we can all be grateful that the director changed his mind, and gave the world these iconic cinematic experiences. 

You can see Martin Scorsese’s latest ensemble drama, Killers of the Flower Moon, which hits theaters on October 20th, in addition to being available for AppleTV+ subscribers. You can also revisit Goodfellas by renting the gangster flick on Amazon, and are also able to check out The Wolf of Wall Street with a Netflix subscription.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

A Brief Guide to Kryptonians
Bollywood’s ‘Animal’, Expanded ‘Dream Scenario’ With ‘Saltburn’, ‘The Holdovers’ Buoy Weekend As Awards Season Kicks Off – Specialty Box Office
The Weeknd Announced as Fortnite Festival Headliner in New Trailer: Watch
Rocky Kramer’s Rock & Roll Tuesdays Presents “Rockin’ Around the World” On Tuesday December 5th, 2023, 7 PM PT on Twitch
Early December Box Office Feeling Halo From ‘Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé’ With $20M-$25M Opening; 99% Positive Audience Exits – Update

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *